Home >politics >policy >Govt eyes Formula 1 Powerboat Championship under cruise tourism

New Delhi: India is considering developing Mumbai for the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship, or F1H2O, under its ambitious cruise tourism action plan, a senior government official said on the condition of anonymity.

“We have been approached by the organisers and sponsors of the championship and a recce has been done. We are still waiting for a final word from them," he added.

The F1H2O international racing competition for powerboats is organised by Union Internationale Motonautique and promoted by H2O Racing. It is the highest class of inshore powerboat racing in the world and shares the title with Formula One car racing. Each F1H2O race lasts for 45 minutes following a circuit market out on a selected stretch of water, usually a lake, river, dock or sheltered bay.

The government plans to promote F1H2O as a key attraction under the Mumbai cruise tourism action plan. It also seeks to develop Mandwa as a wellness destination, offering yoga and meditation. The facility will be developed on a land parcel belonging to Mumbai Port Trust. The government also plans to develop Sassoon Dock, Sewree Fort, Kanhoji Angre Island, Alibaug and Vijaydurg as tourist attractions.

The Mumbai cruise action plan was finalized last week under the leadership of union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari. Tourism minister K.J. Aphons, and officials from the Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Tourism Department of Maharashtra we re also present along with representatives from the tourism and travel industry.

A senior Mumbai Port Trust official, who also did not wish to be named, said water sports activities are also being planned around the Marine drive area. Tourist attractions, including restaurants, will come up in the Mumbai Port area near the domestic cruise terminal.

India has five cruise terminals, one each in Chennai, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Cochin and Mormugoa in Goa. According to Mumbai Port Trust, around 47 cruises will take place between 1 September and 31 May, 2019.

To promote cruise tourism, the Centre has removed ousting charges, and has given a discount of 42-66% on port charges, besides introducing e-visa and on-arrival visa facilities for cruise tourists. It has also waived off cabotage for foreign-registered cruise vessels.

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